About 110,000 people are expected at this year’s Heritage, which kicks off Monday. We asked six long-time attendees to share their top tips for making the most of the island’s biggest party.
Think comfortable footwear
Ladies should opt for comfortable shoes such as wedges, sandals and flats. They look cute and will allow you to pad around Harbour Town Golf Links for hours.
And when the day at the tournament is done, make sure you’ve got a reservation at your favorite restaurant.
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With thousands flocking to the island for the annual event, it will be nearly impossible to get a table without one.
— Rose Newton of Bluffton, who hasn’t missed a tournament in the past 20 years
Biking has its advantages
Consider biking to the event. Last year, more than 5,000 people did. More are expected to do so this year.
Bikers can park at two locations: beside the tennis courts next to the Harbour Town Clubhouse parking lot and near the 13th green at 16 Baynard Park Road.
It’s free and volunteers will watch over the bikes from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m..
Riding your bike eliminates a lot of the hassle, gives you freedom, exercise and gets you close to the main gate.
— Frank Babel, co-chairman of the Town of Hilton Head Island’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, who has attended every tournament for more than a decade
Practice rounds offer perks
Don’t skip the Pro-Ams and tournament practice rounds happening Monday through Wednesday.
That offers your best chance to chat with the golfers, get autographs and snap a photo with them.
One of the best player-watching spots is the 8th hole — near The VanLandingham Rotary Club’s concession stand.
In addition to breakfast sandwiches, they have great mimosas. And the club’s popular popcorn wagon, which is more than 100 years old, will be back again.
Then, take a stroll between the 10th and 16th holes and watch the ladies decked out in their Heritage outfits. It’s a great location for watching fashion.
— Wendy Fetters of Cincinnati, who has been coming to the Heritage for five years and Brian Neumann of Hilton Head, president of The VanLandingham Rotary Club. He hasn’t missed a tournament since 1991.
Beware the Sunday crunch
As the tournament narrows down to the final players on this last day of play, the crowds swell, particularly around the 17th and 18th holes.
If you want to avoid the crunch, go during the morning hours and enjoy the wonderful party atmosphere. Then, if you really want to watch the final swings of the tournament without the crowds, head home and watch it on television.
— Mary-Stuart Alderman of Hilton Head, a Heritage volunteer attending her 14th tournament this year
Enjoy seeing, or being seen
Two types of people attend the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing — those who want to watch golf and those who want to be seen.
One group is in their ball caps and shorts while the other group is in pastel party dresses and holding a cocktail.
There is plenty of room for both at the annual event. So put on a big smile and mix and mingle.
“It shows that there’s something for everyone at a PGA Tour golf tournament.”
— Linda Neff of Hilton Head Island, who is attending her 13th tournament